Using a marshmallow fondant recipe to make your cake frosting will yield a sugar paste that has about the same consistency as regular fondant but tastes less sweet. Many people prefer marshmallow fondant over the more conventional version due to the taste difference. The marshmallow version is also much easier to make at home.
Besides the taste variation, marshmallow fondant differs from other types of fondant in a few ways.
- The primary ingredients are different. As you can infer from its name, marshmallow fondant uses melted mini marshmallows as its basis, while traditional fondant uses powdered sugar. Gum paste also uses sugar and may incorporate meringues as well.
- Marshmallow fondant is far stickier than regular fondant or gum paste, which has a pliable consistency.
- Although gum paste and conventional fondant mix up relatively smoothly and have a natural matte finish, marshmallow fondant might be lumpy if you don't mix it thoroughly, and it will look oily if you oil your work surface and don't dust the fondant with powdered sugar before using it.
Marshmallow Fondant Recipe
The below recipe makes about two pounds of frosting and is based on an AllRecipes version of the frosting.
- 1 16-oz. package miniature marshmallows (plain white)
- 3 T. water
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp. almond extract
- 1 2-lb. bag powdered sugar
- 1 T. canola oil or unsalted butter, at room temperature
- Empty the marshmallows into a large, microwave-safe bowl. Make sure the bowl holds two to three times the capacity of the marshmallows, since they will puff up considerably in the microwave.
- Microwave the marshmallows on medium to high heat for 30 seconds. Stir the marshmallows with a whisk. If they're not completely melted, microwave again in 15-second intervals until they are melted. Add the water, vanilla, and almond extract to the mixture, and whisk until it is smooth.
- Using a spatula or hand mixer on low speed, mix the powdered sugar into the melted marshmallows. To avoid lumps, be sure to sift the sugar unless you are opening a brand-new bag. Some sugar may be left over. The paste should be thick and sticky.
- Coat your hands with the butter or oil, scatter powdered sugar on a flat work surface, and knead the fondant until it becomes pliable and adopts the consistency of modeling clay. If necessary, knead in more powdered sugar as you go. When you finish kneading, the dough should no longer be sticky.
- Roll out and use the fondant immediately or wrap it in plastic wrap and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to several months.
If you're looking for something a little different, there are plenty of alternate recipes like these:
- Marshmallow fondant from What's Cooking America
- Wilton's rolled marshmallow fondant
- Marshmallow fondant from Food.com
- Recipe from the Sugar Lane
Using Marshmallow Fondant
After you've whipped up a batch of frosting with your marshmallow fondant recipe, it's best to work with the fondant when it's at room temperature so it will be easiest to bend, roll, and sculpt. If you've had it in the refrigerator, leave it out for several hours in plastic wrap or covered with a damp towel until it warms up again.
To roll out the fondant in a sheet, coat your work surface and rolling pin evenly with powdered sugar. Form the fondant into a ball and roll it out with the rolling pin, moving from the center to the sides. Ideally, the fondant should be about 1/4" thick to coat a cake or cupcakes. Cut out the size of the sheet you need with a sharp paring knife coated with oil or doused with cooking spray.
To tint marshmallow fondant, you'll need gel food coloring. Put on a pair of plastic gloves and roll the fondant into a thick log. Dab a few dots of gel coloring onto the log and massage them into the frosting, continuing to knead and twist the sugar dough until the color is no longer marbled and seems completely incorporated. It's common for the color to darken slightly after you apply it.
Marshmallow fondant will stiffen if you leave it to dry overnight or for several days, so be sure to allow enough time for that to happen if you want to apply dry decorations on a finished cake.